By: Omar Abdul-Hafiz
enterprise and education consecutively. We saw that in the enterprise sector, web portals can play a vital and diversified role in streamlining communication and access to information among departments and business partners. Likewise, in the education sector, we looked at how web portals can substantially improve communication between teachers, students, and parents.
Thus, to pick up the threads of our discussion on the significance of web portals in various industries, in this article, we will cover their usage in the healthcare sector. So, let’s get to it.
Web portals in Healthcare
If we are to name one way in which information technology has greatly helped the healthcare sector, it would be saving time and effort. What we mean by this is that many routine processes that go into the administrative aspect of providing a healthcare sector used to involve a lot of paperwork. This paperwork, aside from requiring a lot of storage space, also needed very intricate maintenance and management to avoid the loss or corruption of important documents and information.
With the emergence of modern information technology, however, much of these costs are now behind us thanks to the ability to automate these tedious manual procedures and safely store and process patients’ information digitally.
To shed the light on the important role of web portals and what they can do for the healthcare sector, we shall look at it from several perspectives. The two most important perspectives in this regard are that of the patient and that of the medical staff. So let us discuss each of these next.
If you are looking to establish a more patient-centric approach to your medical services, then patient portals must an integral part of your plans. For patients, web portals can save a lot of time and boost the convenience of accessing information. Through them, patients can easily access their profiles and view all the information related to their medical process, health records, as well as information related to their healthcare providers. Through this unified and organized dashboard, patients can also request medical services and book or confirm an appointment.
Another important detail that can be made much easier through patient portals is the ability to access and control financial affairs. Patients can easily view and track their payments and also view their insurance information and policies.
On the other side of the medical process is the medical staff. That includes doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and radiology teams. With a powerful web portal system, each separate group of the medical staff can have their specialized interface through which they may access all the information they need in order to do their jobs.
Through the doctor portal, for example, a doctor will have access to all the information related to his/her patients from medical history, diagnostics, lab results, prescriptions, and more Also, the doctor will be able to track his patients’ appointments history, book a new appointment, or modify (cancel, postpone, etc.) an existing one as needed.
Additionally, the doctor will also be able to perform other important actions such as referring the patient to another doctor or requesting certain medical tests or radiological images. All these actions and more can now be taken through one consolidated web interface.
Ok, now patients and medical staff are the two obvious ones, but it is it just limited to them?
Well, of course not! Web portals can also be a great convenience for payers and referrals.
It often happens that a medical service provider needs to refer a patient to some other, external medical service provider for a procedure that cannot be performed in-house. For example, an independent doctor may wish to refer a patient to a specialized hospital where they need to undergo a certain surgical procedure. Another example would be that a doctor needs to refer a patient to an external laboratory to have some medical tests performed. All these actions can be made much easier with the help of a referral portal.
But referral portal can work in the other direction as well. External healthcare facilities may wish to communicate medical information with your medical institution such as lab results, radiology, images, or even the status of a patient after a surgical procedure. This type of external communication could sometimes cause problems such as misplacement of documents, something that must not be allowed to happen. A well-designed referral portal can make this communication a lot easier by offering external healthcare providers with a unified and convenient interface. Through this interface, they can easily manage referral requests, fill in the required sample information, print sample barcodes, and much more.
After the results are ready, they can easily send them back through the same web portal dashboard. They may then also check billing details to ensure that all fees have been paid successfully.
As the name suggests, a payer portal is a portal designed specifically for use by a paying entity. Its purpose is to make it easier for paying entities (be they insurers, companies, or else), to access all information related to their clients’ outstanding bills, claims, prescriptions, and diagnostic details. This information may then be processed according to the Insurance policy, approved and prepared for payment.
Furthermore, payer portals are very useful for auditing purposes. For example, an insurance provider will have a detailed view of all pending claims with their exact prices. They may then perform all the standard auditing procedures to make sure that these claims are in line with the agreements and policies in place.
As you can see, web portals can come quite in handy in the healthcare sector. Instead of struggling with the old manual, and de-centralized processes, we can now make things much more straightforward by making them accessible through this convenient system of personalized interfaces and dashboards. This way all the parties involved in the healthcare process (doctors, patients, insurers, referrals, etc.) will be able to boost their productivity and play their roles collaboratively in much less time and effort than before.
In the next section, we are going to discuss yet another place where web portals can revamp our way of doing business. Stick around!